Teen Review– The First Battle by Erin Hunter

[Cover]

In the fourth book in the Dawn of the Clans series, the tensions are rising between the forest cats and the moor cats. Clear Sky, leader of the cats in the forest, starts out the new book with a chilling thought; for the first time, he considers his band of cats a clan. While he berates himself immediately, he begins to think of his cats less as members of the mountains planning to return and bring the rest and more as an independent society. In addition, Clear Sky begins to become more tyrannical; grabbing more land, harshly punishing others for minor infractions, and begins training for war. The moor cats, on the other hand, are merely surviving and hope for peace. Thunder is having adventures with his uncle, but all the cats feel the coming storm. Food is plentiful for the forest cats, so much that they can’t finish it all. The moor cats are hungrier, what with it being dry season. Worse, Clear Sky – fearing a strike by Shadowpaw’s cats – is starting to reject talks with the moor cats. War is inevitable due to the title, but who shall fall before the end?

The book was amazing. Erin Hunter once again matched felines with action, and having enough surprises and subplots to mount tensions while making it an enjoyable read. However, the names of the clans in the original series allow readers to figure out several potential plot points that may be addressed by the series ends. Despite this, the book was well-written and enjoyable.

How Clear Sky goes from genuinely caring for his band, to a well-intentioned, if harsh, extremist, to utterly self-deluding maniac is mesmerizing. His corruption shows how subtly power can turn goals into excuses.

four stars

Review by Adam, grade 7, Tuckahoe Area Library

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